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ABSTRACT. This paper traces the historical development of the right to asylum with a culminating statement in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). In the 1967 Protocol a refugee defined as “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion” (p. 3). It is estimated that 51 million people are displaced as refugees worldwide. This figure has to be reviewed in light of the massive increase of Syrian refugees and other economic migrants that are now streaming into Europe. Yet the problems of the largest mass migration in the era of globalization are not confined to Europe. It is a broader problem and one that increasingly accompanies the ongoing consequences of war in the world’s conflict zones. pp. 7–16

Keywords: refugee; asylum; Syrian conflict; human rights; refugee rights

How to cite: Peters, Michael A., and Tina Besley (2017), “The Refugee Crisis and the Right to Political Asylum,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 9(1): 7–16.

Received 7 October 2015 • Received in revised form 5 March 2016
Accepted 6 March 2016 • Available online 15 March 2016

doi:10.22381/GHIR9120171

MICHAEL A. PETERS
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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;
University of Waikato
TINA BESLEY
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University of Waikato

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